OAKLAND, CA — Join the growing number of commuters who are leaving their car at home and riding a bicycle to work. The region’s annual Bike to Work Day celebrates its 20th anniversary on Thursday, May 8, 2014, when thousands of new and seasoned riders will commute using pedal power. Complete event information is available at youcanbikethere.com.
While some local organizations have held Bike to Work Day events for over 20 years, the regional event — presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), 511 and Kaiser Permanente — is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. MTC began sponsoring Bike to Work Day 20 years ago to grow the event into a regionwide effort. MTC now works with the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC) to organize the annual program with the goal of promoting bicycling as a viable mode of daily transportation. With the majority of automobile trips being less than two miles long — and with the growing amount of congestion in the Bay Area — many of these trips can be made by bicycle.
“Your commute can be your gym,” said MTC Chair and Orinda Council member Amy Rein Worth. “Not only can you get your daily exercise in, but you can help improve air quality in your community and reduce traffic congestion throughout the region.”
Bike to Work Day is the region’s premier event to encourage commuters in the nine Bay Area counties to try bike commuting for the first time, or to recommit to increasing time spent cycling. On May 8, volunteers will staff over 300 Energizer Stations to cheer on bike commuters and offer complimentary snacks and other giveaways, official reusable Bike to Work Day canvas bags and bicycling information. Visit youcanbikethere.com/user/register to find out how easy it can be to commute by bicycle, pledge to ride your bike on Bike to Work Day and register to win prizes.
Held during National Bike Month, Bike to Work Day happens in conjunction with other activities that encourage Bay Area residents to commute by bike, including the month-long Team Bike Challenge, the Bike Commuter of the Year Awards and dozens of local bicycling events held throughout the region during the month of May.
Bike Commuter of the Year Awards
Nominations for Bike Commuter of the Year open Tuesday, March 18. One bike commuter from each of the nine Bay Area counties will be selected in an effort to recognize their dedication to riding a bicycle for everyday transportation. The awards program began in 2008. Last year’s winners included young, old, rural, suburban and urban bike commuters who inspire bicycling in their community by example.
The deadline to submit a nomination is April 18.
Visit youcanbikethere.com/user/register to register and submit a nomination at youcanbikethere.com/bcoy. Each winner will receive a set of Revolights.
Team Bike Challenge & Company Bike Challenge
The month-long Team Bike Challenge and Company Bike Challenge competitions were incorporated into the program in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Since then, individuals, teams and various companies have competed for top honors and much-coveted bragging rights. Last year, nearly 3,500 riders competed in the Team & Company Bike Challenges, forming over 1,000 teams and including over 350 companies. Apple Inc. took the top spot in the Company Bike Challenge, followed by Tesla Motors in second and Caltrans District 4 in third place. A total of 1.1 million miles were biked during the Challenge in May 2013, far outriding 2012’s total distance of 701,710 miles, resulting in an estimated savings of 568 tons of CO2 and burning over 69 million total calories. The competition starts May 1 and runs through May 31. To register, visit teambikechallenge.com.
The 2014 Bike to Work program is presented by MTC, 511 and Kaiser Permanente. Additional support is provided by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, Beyond Pix, Clear Channel, Typekit, Adobe, Canary Challenge, Revolights, REI, Clif Bar and the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition. The event is made possible through the cooperation of hundreds of volunteers, MTC, county congestion management agencies, local jurisdictions, local bicycling coalitions and BABC.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. For regional bicycling information, visit bicycling.511.org.
Mae Le, BABC: (415) 787-2893
Leslie Lara, MTC: (510) 817-5813